Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 15 minutes
Chipotle Mac & Cheese! Okay? I probably don’t need to say anything else, you’re already rummaging through your pantry for a can of chipotles and some cashews to soak. Mac & Cheese is, after all, the ultimate comfort food. A box of macaroni might as well come with sweatpants, a cozy blanket and an entire season of Mad Men DVDs.
This version is creamy, of course, but also spicy and smoky. But what really sets it apart is how EASY it is. That’s ALL CAPS and throw in an italic EASY.
1) Boil some macaroni 2) Throw some stuff into the blender 3) Put it all together. 4) There you go. I roasted some brussel sprouts, too (as I do), but you can add any manner of veggie; steamed kale, grilled asparagus, sauteed zucchini…you get the picture. I do highly recommend the brussels, though, because they roast away effortlessly, and you are free to prepare everything else. Oh, and of course, they’re also super delicious.
The only thing that’s a little fussy is getting the seeds out of the chipotle. But follow my notes below and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Happy macking, everyone!
~ The reason we’re removing the seeds, in case you’re wondering, is that seeds are really spicy. With the seeds removed, you can use more chipotles, thus getting more smoky flavor without all the heat.
~ Update! If you’d like to make this was blanched, slivered or sliced almonds, go for it! People have been reporting back that it works well.
~ For a non-spicy version, try one roasted red pepper (homemade or from a jar) in place of the 4 chipotles.
~ I love a milder miso here. I used chickpea, but mellow white would be nice, too. The kind of miso you use will determine the saltiness, and so I suggest salting to taste before and after adding it to the macaroni.
1 lb brussels, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oilFor the sauce:
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
4 chipotles, seeded (see note)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons miso (I used chickpea miso)
Salt to taste
To make the sauce: Drain the cashews and place all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend away until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to make sure you get everything. Depending on the strength of your blender this could take from one to five minutes.
When the macaroni is tender, drain it in a colander. Immediately place it back in the pot you boiled it in and stir in the sauce. Place pot on low heat and stir for 3 minutes or so, until the sauce is thickened a bit and everything is deliciously creamy. Taste for salt, toss in the brussel sprouts and serve!
(In the pic I put some extra chipotles in, but that was just for show. Unless you like things REALLY spicy you can skip that.)
This sauce is delicious over roasted garnet yams.
Just tried this recipe and it is SO GOOD! I am still fairly new to cooking, and found the recipe super easy. I used Braggs Liquid Aminos in the place of the miso, and it worked fine. Also, I dont care for spicy, so I only used 2 chipotles instead of 4. It is the perfect amount of spicy for me. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I will definitely be having this meal on the regular!
I adore this mac and cheese recipe, and make it all the time! Just made a bowl with this mac and cheese, creamy vegan coleslaw and bbq soy curls. Heaven!
I made this a little while ago and I just didn’t like it. I’ve made several of your recipes and thoroughly enjoyed every single on of them, so I put this failure on myself. I think my problem was my miso. I don’t have a problem with all miso (I’ve enjoyed it in the past), but whatever I picked up at the store isn’t working for me. There were so many kinds, I was overwhelmed. I’d just buy them all and try them until I find one that I like…if only they weren’t so expensive. I would love to flavor profile guide to all the different varieties!
This was fantastic! Usually have to tweak veeg-cheese recipes but it came out exactly right. (I always add a little extra yeast though.) we popped it back in the oven to get a little more crispy at the very end and I think I’ll add a little panko on top next time. And perfectly spicy, don’t need to add sriracha or pepper flakes. We ground some fresh black pepper on to serve. Total winner!
Hi, Isa. A friend of mine made your recipe last night and posted it on Facebook and it looked AMAZING, so I’m making it tonight! Do you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe on hand? I can totally figure it out myself, but if you already have it, it would save me the trouble. Looking forward to chowing down on this for dinner! I’ll let you know how it goes!
This sauce is awesome! I am already thinking of different ways to use it . It’s very addicting!
just made this and it was delicious! i couldn’t find chipotles so i used roasted red peppers. it was really yummy and the roasted brussel sprouts made for a perfect combo. thanks for all of the awesome recipes, Isa!!
Sorry, I’m new to this, but when you say Miso do you mean the Miso concentrate or the powder you can buy?
Also, when you say you can fast boil the cashews do you mean you can place them in boiling water and continue to boil for 15 minutes or place them in the water and turn it off?
This has become a staple for me. I use soy sauce in place of miso because I don’t have it on hand. Pretty fawkin tasty. I still wonder what it would be like with miso instead.
I just made this tonight, but I didn’t have any miso, so I took the advice and used 2 tsp mustard and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. I also went to the only grocery store in town that doesn’t carry chipotle chiles so I just seasoned the sauce with Cajun seasoning. The end result was excellent. I look forward to making it as written!
I just made this!! Wow! SO easy and SOOOOO AWESOME!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I wanted to make this tonight but I didn’t have any chipotles, macaroni, or Brussels sprouts. So I made my special drink with vodka, gin and olives and stared really hard at the picture. It still tasted AMAZING.
Excellent!! I made half a recipe since it is just for me and only used 1 pepper when I saw the size of them. It was perfect-my lips tingle but don’t have the burning in the back of my throat. The sauce was amazing-very velvety and satisfying! I am not vegan-not even completely vegetarian but am trying to get my cholesterol down and eat more healthy food. This will now be my “go to” mac and cheese-may even try taking the sauce and cooked pasta to work in separate containers and use the microwave to combine and warm.
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This tastes fantastic.
Thanks sooo much for this recipe! I will be cooking it (again) later today and I just wanted to thank you for a completely savory and delish recipe. I make it GF and this is in my permanent rotation. I just love your creativity.
Not feeling well today, tucked up in bed with my kitties, what should I eat? I know I will make this awesome mac and cheese for the thousandth time. Never fails to amaze me, never ever, so creamy and tasty and cheesy and wonderful and yet kind to the planet. Thank you again, you are a star x
Brilliant as usual. We don’t really get Chipotle here in South Africa so we replaced it with Cayene Pepper and Smoked Paprika. Yum!
This recipe is AMAZING. I had never tried making a cashew based sauce before, or yeast flakes for that matter, it was surprisingly easy and SO TASTY!!!
I made this recipe when you first posted it and I was super new to using cashews and stressed about this and was super-overwhelmed. I’ve now made 120 of your Isa Does It recipes and feel like a cashew pro and I look back at this recipe and realize how very simple it is. Learning is cool, folks.
I just finished a serving of this and it was AMAZING. I’m really finicky about vegan mac and cheese, I’ve made quite a few bad recipes. I’m addicted to cashew puree/creaminess/goodness (made your blueberry cheesecake recipe a few days ago with it), so I figured this was a safe choice. I only used 2 chipotles, it was the perfect amount of spice. I also used white miso (1 tablespoon). I will definitely make this again and I’ve already shared pictures of the results on FB and Insta with a link to this page 🙂
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This is awesome! Because I’m a whimp when it comes to spicy, I took your advice and used a few roasted red peppers AND and dash if smoked paprika! Top notch dish, I love brussels as much as you do so keep those recipes coming! Brussel Sprout Fried rice, still the best as of right now. Hehe!
I used no chiles in this, and it still came out delicious (it wasn’t quite as yellow, but I don’t really care). Thanks so much for sharing this!
I’ve been making many variations of vegan mac n cheeze due to an awesome five year old vegan boy in the house, lol. I’ve been a fan of your sunflower mac for our staple recipe, though I use cashew in it. Now I’ve stumbled upon THIS easy recipe, and I’m stoked! Soo easy, 2 step process here, cut all the work from other recipes in less than half, no cutting onions, no teary eyes, no stir frying, …
It is so rich and creamy and tastes wonderful! I used a jar roasted bell pepper. My son said he could fly after he finishes his bowl, lol.
If I recommend it to a friend who her kids are very picky (no veggies taste/smell), what would you suggest to use instead of the fire roasted bell pepper? Would roasted tomato or tomato paste work here?
what if you don’t soak the cashews?
Very YUM! Made this last night and loved it. Used about a rounded tablespoon of canned chipotles and that was good for our family. Used an immersion blender on the sauce after starting with the small food processor – smoother. Love your recipes. Thanks for this one!
Mind Blown. Tried this last night and it was incredible!!! I used broccoli instead of brussel sprouts… because that’s what was around, and it worked out fine. So Yumm!!!
My husband and I have made this a dozen times and absolutely love it! What are the nutritional facts? Calories, fat?
This is just great and easy to put together. I have a pretty decent blender/nut grinder and can make this with little effort. I have made the recipe as is, but also have tried tried additions (black garlic, half almonds – half cashews, adding roasted red pepper does seem to improve the color).
Isa, thanks for so many great recipes!
This is the best vegan mac i have tried to date (and I’ve tried many!). the taste is incredibly similar to the vegan cashew mac at Millennium restaurant in Oakland, CA! I use cauliflower and a sweet yellow bell. Will be making again and again!
Have now made this 3 times. Loved by all who ate it and also by the cook since it is so easy. Thanks.
I first commented in 2014 after making the recipe for the first time and have made this recipe many times since then. Last night was the first time I made it in my new Vitamix and the consistency is AMAZING. The food processor still leaves it a little gritty, even when it goes for 3-5 minutes straight. The Vitamix blended it super creamy in about 10 seconds. Amazing. My husband loves this recipe too.